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Peacock herl bodies

Posted on March 19 2019

tying tip from a maine fly shop


I have been tying Prince nymphs all day which has motivated me to talk about today's tying tip. The first thing I want to mention is correcting a mistake tiers make, that is being too cheap with the peacock. To tie a long nymph body you need to use the correct amount of herl. You can't be cheap with the stuff. When I tie a size 10 I will use 5 or 6 of the longest herls I can find. You can adjust the number of pieces as you go down in hook size. You want to secure the herl at the front of the hook and use it to form an under body by wrapping it securely along the shank of the hook. You will end up with the herl and thread at the rear tie in point.  The next step is for the guy with a rotary vise. While your thread bobbin is hanging down you want to take your clump of herl and line it up with the thread. Hold the herl and thread together and rotate the thread and herl  forward to form the body. When you get to the front separate the herl from the thread and tie it off. If you have a bead on the hook make sure you pack the herl up tight against the bead so it does not move.


  • Brett Damm: March 24, 2019

    I use that much to give it the needed bulk. If you are using a bead on the head you need that much to pack in around the bead.

  • Jim Coleman: March 24, 2019

    Hello and Thks for the explanation. It is a question, why 5-6? I only recently started using two, it seems enough, but is it for the bulk or what? Thks in advance. Also would it not work to use two and just go back over it? Just trying to understand.

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